Monday, January 29, 2018

Senior Center

A year after my husband died, an acquaintance suggested that I should dye my hair red and take my redheaded self to the senior center to meet some men.

I thought, "No way!"  First of all I have no planes to ever dye my hair -- red or otherwise.  Secondly, I was 66 years old at the time.  I figured I'd have four more years before I would be ready for the senior center scene. That's for older people.

Well. those four years are almost past.  I happened to walk on a route that took me past the senior center the other day.  I really don't know what goes on in there, what kind of programs they may have, but I am not going to find out in the near future.  I realized as I walked on by that in my own head I have pushed out senior status to 75 years of age.  That gives me five and a half more years.

You are welcome to leave comments, but please don't point out flaws in my logic!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

An Anniversary of Sorts

It was just over four years ago that I was riding my bike and rode into a car.
I went flying through the air and the thought that was running through my head was, "Gee, Mike, I didn't think I would be joining you quite so soon!"  My husband had died five months previously.

I was passing the site of the accident and snapped this picture from the perspective of the driver of the car.
It's pretty clear why she didn't see me!
I was coming from the driver's right.  We were hidden from each other until it was too late.

Florida has the highest rate of bicycle-car collisions in the nation.
I'm glad I was wearing a helmet.
My face looked like an eggplant for a while but nothing was broken except my bike and that helmet.

Friday, January 26, 2018

On Birds

Just wanted to clarify that I am not against feeding birds although I don't do it myself.  My husband always had several bird feeders filled.  I did not carry on the practice out of laziness mostly.  But I quite enjoy watching the birds that flit in and out of the trees behind my condo and I do make a visit to a rookery in Florida every year.

Feeding large birds here in Florida is asking for trouble.   Great egrets and herons can get demanding.  The sandhill cranes eat grubs and bugs in the yard, which is fine, and they are very fun to watch when they dance, but they do say they can be dangerously aggressive if they are fed.

The ban on feeding songbirds here in the park is a contentious item.  I know it was allowed when I first moved in here, but a new HOA board was able to change the by-laws.  I stay out of HOA politics. If the citrus rats get into your home they do a tremendous amount of damage though.

In Vermont, bird feeding is unrestricted.  However, the  Department of Fish and Game strongly advises that bird feeders come down in the spring.

Here's why -- A few years ago then Governor Shumlin heard a ruckus outside his home.  A big ruckus.  So he jumped out of bed to investigate.  We now know that he sleeps in the nude and apparently does not keep a robe handy.  He managed to chase aware four bears that were ravishing his bird feeders by yelling "SHOO." Almost.  One bear came back, but the Gov could run pretty fast.

Not every weird headline comes out of Florida.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Along the Way

I noticed this sign while on a walk.

It is against HOA rules to even have a small feeder for song birds.  It's because the seed inevitably gets spilled on the ground and it attracts pesky rats and other critters one doesn't want hanging around.  

A man down the street used to regularly feed a great white egret.  The egret often stomped around on my roof while waiting for the food to appear down the street.  It is amazing how aggressive some of those large birds can get if you feed them.  They have been known to go through window screens to remind you if you have started this bad habit.

They say raccoons never forget a previous source of food.  And I don't mind a glimpse of an alligator from a distance, but I definitely will leave them their privacy at dinner time.

There is no poop fairy.
But here is a kind of gross story.  I had a friend who had a very cantankerous father who pitched a fit if he saw a dog pooping on his lawn.  For a while he was seen walking around the immediate neighborhood with a bottle of some murky liquid and a turkey baster.  He would cover the offending poop with the liquid and the next day -- no poop in sight!  It turned out to be bacon grease in that bottle.  Ewww. Dogs will eat most anything with bacon flavor on it.

Coincidentally,  I saw this article in The Washington Post today.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Plum Wine

I am hosting the neighborhood book club at my house on Thursday.  So naturally when I did my shopping today, I stopped in at Wine World to get a supply of wine.  We wised up at some point last winter and moved the book club from 10 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon precisely so wine could be served.  It stimulates discussion (not that that was a problem, but still).

While I was perusing the many, many wines, I noticed a Japan section. Kay has often mentioned her mom's delight in Plum Wine.  So naturally, I had to buy a bottle.  We really have to take advantage of the opportunities to expand our cultural experiences.  It's a good reason to blog.

As it happened, I was planning to make dinner for my neighbors tonight -- a soba (buckwheat) noodle and bok choy stir fry with mirin (a yummy rice vinegar) and coconut aminos (a substitute for soy sauce).  That has some Japanese ingredients so naturally we had to sample that Plum Wine for dessert.

No wonder Kay's mom always has such a delighted and delightful smile.  It was really a perfect sip of dessert!  So naturally, I am sending a thank-you to Kay and her mom!

Monday, January 22, 2018


Brisk walking and yoga are my exercises of choice.  I like to take a longer walk on Sunday afternoons because they are not as busy.  This Sunday was so pleasant I ended up walking six miles.

I live in a small park.  If you walk the perimeter, you have gone (to be extremely generous) a half mile.  Walking the same loop eight times gets boring and also puts me at risk of having some resident think I am some kind of stalker.  So I tend to walk in the larger community of Venice.

This is the entry way to the park where I live, about a quarter mile until I reach other neighborhoods.

I can't tell you how many times someone has stopped in a car, rolled down the window and in a concerned voice asked if I needed a ride.

I cross the highway and get to the Circus Bridge.  This is where there is someone waiting to operate the draw bridge but there were only small boats out today it seemed.

I get to the Venetian Waterway Park along the Intracoastal and there are walkers, runners, and bicyclists.  There are boats going by and the boaters always wave to those of us poor folk on land.  This section is very close to the Venice airport and there are always lots of small aircraft traffic on weekends.  It may not look busy here, but it is really.

I walked to Shamrock Park and stopped to visit their small display garden

Bromeliad and my foot

These are labeled "Golden" something but they look purple to me

The garden is a very much a work in process.

 I stopped at this small park on the way home.  I thought I might see an alligator, but I only spied a couple of anhingas. They are also called snake birds because they really do look like snakes when they are in the water.

Monday, January 15, 2018


  I made a trip to my neighborhood Lowe's yesterday.   I bought a magnet for my door so I could hang a wreath,  a new drain cover for the garbage disposal and a new toilet flap and chain.

All three items packaged in paper and plastic.

The magnet had plastic glued onto a cardboard backing.  I peeled the plastic part off and then still had to poke through the paper backing to get the magnet out.

The stopper was the worst!  The plastic was tightly glued between two cardboard pieces.  I couldn't pry the two layers apart and ended up having to use scissors and then pry.
This package was so easy!  See the holes in the cardboard.  The plastic on front and back of this had little male and female nubs.  One pull and the flap and chain came right out.  (I installed it already.)

Why can't all packages be easy open?  Probably to keep theft down?

Speaking of packaging, I bought this yogurt (not at Lowe's though) expressly for the packaging.

French style yogurt that comes in a glass cup.  The label peels off easily and I am going to use the glass cups for tea lights because they are just so darn cute.

So the question is: Does Olga have enough to do or is she just writing boredom blog posts?

Friday, January 12, 2018

VT Winter

The day before I left Vermont I happened to  look out the window of my craft room and saw this little guy shivering under the shrub.  It was very cold that day.  

This next picture was taken January 7.  The sky was so beautiful -- all blue,not a cloud in sight.
There was no warmth from the sun though.  The snow actually squeaks when you walk on it in sub zero temperatures.

I heard it rained there today and the temps were in high fifties.  That is not supposed to last with a cold front sweeping in from the west.  Icy roads will be a real hazard tomorrow.  

Perhaps we can use this Northeast winter to attract some of those Norwegians? What a national embarrassment.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

50 Dollar Reward

I have been getting one or two emails every day lately that inform me I have a $50 thank-you for being a loyal Amazon Prime member.

I am suspicious because I am not an Amazon Prime member, loyal or otherwise. (I report them as spam.)

I am suspicious because the sending email addresses are not from Amazon. (I don't open them, I report them as spam.)

I am suspicious because they come from multiple different addresses.  (I report them as spam.)

I am suspicious because sometimes I get "Thank you &7mU" and that strikes me as odd so I report them as spam.

Today I got two emails warning me that TIME IS RUNNING OUT to collect my $50 reward.

I am suspicious because I really suspect Jeff Bezos has far more important things to be doing than chasing me down to give me $50.

I may be doing myself out of 50 bucks, but I'm reporting these last two as spam.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


Here's a Cranky post about Hallmark cards.  If you haven't read it before, you are welcome.

Now, I don't buy Hallmark cards myself.  I make my own cards.  Some people seem to appreciate them but I am sure are those who think something along the lines of "Wow, she's too cheap to buy a card."

Cheapness is not a part of it.  Google card making supplies sometime and you'll see.  And if you are into this crafty activity, you never have enough supplies.  There are always new colors and stamp sets, all kinds of tools to make cards fancier . . . and heavier which adds to the expense of the postage due.

I live in a small condo, but I have a room that is dedicated to my craft supplies:

I figure the average cost of any card I send is around $250.00 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Stray thoughts and actions

Somebody missed the opportunity to get me the perfect gift, a life sized unicorn at Home Goods.

I noticed these snow stalactites under the table on my back deck.  I don't recall seeing anything like this before, but of course I am not always around.

Stalactites cling to the ceiling and stalagmites grow up from the ground, in case you thought everything you learned in school was useless information.

I have been struggling with bifold doors in my condo since moving in. They are on all the clothes closets. the laundry and the water heater nook. One of the closet doors, the water heater door and the laundry door were always sticking, dragging on the carpet, and looking all crooked.  I finally had it when one side of the laundry doors fell off completely.

I decided today was the day to fix them.  I didn't even look this up on google.  I actually studied them and figured out how they worked and where they were failing.  I needed one small part from Lowes to fix the clothes closet and it took me a couple of tries to adjust that one properly, but by golly, I did it!

I wasn't sure about the parts so I kind of over did it.  Lowes is not far away so I can return two of these packages.

I wasn't too sure at about the tools I needed either.  It turned out I didn't need any tools for the bifold doors beyond a bit of brute strength.  The tools were not wasted though because I decided to hang a shelf on the kitchen wall.  This shelf used to be in the bathroom but it was kind of in the way of the door so I moved it.

I put up pegs in the bathroom.  These don't interfere with the door opening.

I am giving serious thought to why I need a man in my life at the moment.  I'm thinking a self-proclaimed handyman better start stepping up a bit more, try to make himself a little more indispensable. Maybe I will start thinking I need a man like a fish needs a bicycle!